Counsel migrant workers and send them back home or to shelters if they start moving out: Delhi Police to district cops

Delhi Police's special branch asked the district police to intensify patrolling at night to prevent unauthorized movement of labourers.

As cases keep surging and a threat of a lockdown looms large, the special branch of Delhi Police, after taking cues from the mass migrants’ movement during the last shutdown, has asked all 15 district police officials to counsel the workers and send them back to their houses or shelters if they are found roaming around without “authorisation”.

The special branch of Delhi Police has informed all districts police personnel that there is a possibility that migrant labourers may try to move out of Delhi and the National Capital Region fearing a sudden lockdown, and if any case of mass movement is observed, local police has been requested to assist them with adequate deployment to speed up the process.

The special branch feels that there may be a sudden rush at major inter-state-bus terminals and railway stations owing to rumours about a lockdown. “It is apprehended that rumour-mongers may speculate about any curfew or lockdown leading to unregulated movement of migrant labourers. They may also not follow social distancing norms during such mass movements which may increase the transmission of Covid-19,” it stated.

Recently, an advisory issued by the special branch regarding mass movement of migrant labourers read, “Information has been received that migrant labourers may try to move out of Delhi and NCR in fear of sudden announcement of lockdown. An efficient working of the system will help prevent and handle any emergent law and order issue in a much better way. In the past, it was observed that huge gatherings of migrant labourers assembled at major bus terminals, railway stations and the norms of social distancing were grossly violated. There may also be rumours imposing lockdown and the labourers may rush to ISBTs and railway stations… Some political parties may also try to shift the migrant labourers to their native places by buses to get political mileage and to get sympathy from the section of migrant labourers.”

The special branch suggested the district police to intensify patrolling at night and the police control room should prevent unauthorized movement of labourers. “The labourers are very anxious to return to their native places and they may turn aggressive and violent. They may also block the roads and damage private and public property. But these labourers may be dealt with tactfully. The behaviour of all the police personnel should be polite while dealing with the labourers and if it is found that they are hungry, then it may be coordinated with civil authorities to arrange food and water so that peace is maintained,” the advisory added.

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